THEY PROTECTED US, NOW LET US HELP THEM
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TRUE TESTIMONIAL FROM A PARTICIPATING SOLDIER
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Sean Sutherland – Canadian, Director of Mentoring/Fundraising, Veteran and Member of Royal Canadian Legion Brighton Branch 100
Caddie School Background
The Caddie School For Soldiers was a brainchild of an American writer Don Snyder when he was inspired to become a caddie in Scotland one year after dealing with his own mental illness. Reflecting on the power of the caddies role to help others in a difficult sport whilst walking beautiful ground and scenery, and remembering the struggles of both his father and uncle after the war, Don realized how becoming a caddie could help others with mental illness, so Don spoke with several top golf professionals in Scotland and the Caddie school for soldiers was born.
The Caddie School
The school is the only caddie school for soldiers in the world. The caddie school conducts the program at the world famous Dukes course in St. Andrews, Scotland. During each one-month course, 6 soldiers are interviewed and accepted into the program from Canada, America and the UK. During the program, soldiers will learn the ways of golf, the rules, and caddie etiquette. In addition, soldiers learn a new skill that only a handful of people in the world have. We help them with the many internal issues they struggle with every day. They learn about themselves and others by adopting new perspectives and acquire a positive outlook about each other and the world around them. This helps them see new possibilities and find the confidence to transfer these new skills in various employment within the golf profession. Food, transportation, residence, clothing, and golf fees are provided to each soldier at no cost to them. In return, each soldier must respect each other and themselves while on the program; and help us find other soldiers who need our help to get out of their darkness and into the light again.
Caddie School Success
In total we have had 42 graduates from The Caddie school and 19 (confirmed) of them have gone on to work at golf courses around the world at the likes of Cabot Cliffs Cape Breton, Dumbarnie Links Scotland, Kingsbarns Scotland, Royal Portrush Ireland, Aberdeen Scotland, several courses in Florida and of course St Andrews Old course and New Course. That’s almost 50% of our alumni working as professional caddies around the world! During the program the soldiers develop a strong family bond that they lost after retirement and/or injury. These like-minded men and women share several common goals, especially the desire to overcome the negative impact their injuries (physical and mental) have left them with.
The Program Cost
As the school is a not-for-profit organization, the $10,000 cost to bring each soldier to Scotland and equip them as above, is funded by donations.
Every donation allows for this program to be a success, Please donate on their website and support these brave soldiers in their pursuit of a new skill and a peaceful life.